The remote beachside community of Broome is marketed as an idyllic getaway for travellers in search of a remote paradise, but locals say the reality is far more grim.
The tropical resort town in Western Australia is in the midst of a vicious crime wave where drugs, burnt out cars, robberies and bashings are a daily occurrence.
An editorial by local journalist Jakeb Waddell on Wednesday reveals just how bad the problem has become.
The remote beachside community of Broome (pictured) is marketed as an idyllic getaway for travellers in search of a remote paradise
Locals living in the Western Australian town say the reality is far more grim (pictured, a burnt out stolen car in Broome)
'I was woken by someone hooning down our residential street at 5.30am,' he wrote in an article for the Broome Advertiser.
'Before leaving the house I triple checked the padlock on my back gate, hid all my valuables and spare car keys, as I always do, and took every other precaution which is part of the five minutes set aside for the task each morning.'
While driving to work, three gangs of youths on three separate occasions pelted his car with rocks.
He said he passed one motorbike and two cars by the side of the road that were completely burnt out before a 'clearly intoxicated' woman gave him the middle finger as she ran onto the middle of the road.
'None of this made me flinch. This was a normal, if not tame, morning. This is the reality of living in Broome.'
With residents fearing the problem is now out of control, locals called a community safety forum and invited nine members of the state government to attend so they could hear first hand how bad the situation has become.
All nine MPs have said they won't be attending.
Accurate statistics are hard to come by but on Thursday Senior Sergeant Dave Puertollano from Broome Police Station acknowledged there was a problem (pictured, Broome police station)
A sniffer dog is pictured searching vehicle in the crime-ridden community of Broome
Broome Police are running Operations MERCHANT and HEATSHIELD to address the volume crime in the remote town
Accurate statistics are difficult to find but on Thursday Senior Sergeant Dave Puertollano from Broome Police Station acknowledged there was a problem.
'The recent spate of crime identified in Broome is disappointing,' he wrote on Facebook.
'Broome Police are running Operations MERCHANT and HEATSHIELD to address the volume crime in Broome.'
But he claimed that a significant portion of offending could have been avoided if more people locked their doors and secured their valuables.
'Opportunistic offending is made significantly easier when homes and hotel accommodation is left unsecured, rooms unlocked, vehicles left unsecured and also with valuables being left inside premises in plain sight of prying eyes,' Senior Sergeant Puertollano said.
'By way of example of the reported burglaries over 50 per cent have occurred as a result of unlocked or unsecured doors or windows.
'Doors and windows have locks, vehicles have locks and immobilisers, please use them. It might also pay to leave outside lights on and to take extra measures in making it tougher for crooks.'
Broome in WA (pictured) may not be the first the first place in mind when thinking of a tropical paradise - but that is what the location offers
The white sandy beaches of remote Broome have been called among the best in Australia
Back in September when border closures were in full effect, Australians booked more tickets to Broome than any other holiday hotspot, according to research by Skyscanner.
Known for its pristine white sandy beaches and warm blue water tourism operators in the region have no trouble luring in holidaymakers.
But for those actually living there, it's far from paradise.
Maria Mann, 65, once thought Broome was 'the best community in the world' after moving there 40 years earlier and being captivated by the landscape, desert colours, lively music scene and the abundance of different cultures.
Now the Indigenous affairs worker is considering packing up and leaving town.
Earlier this year, Ms Mann awoke to three youths with hoods on demanding her car keys and threatening her with a screw-driver.
'It was creepy how calm they were actually,' she told the ABC.
'They were brazen as anything … so brazen.
'They weren't bothered by me … they weren't afraid of anything … they were very confident - sure of themselves.'
Daily Mail Australia have reached out for comment to the President of Broome Shire, Councillor Harold Tracey.
Western Australia's north (pictured) is one of the few areas where Australia's rugged outback reaches the coast
Beach horse and camel treks are a popular activity for holidaymakers in Broome (pictured)